Staff and Board

At Afesis-corplan we believe that the most appropriate way to provide professional and innovative services to all our stakeholders is to ensure that our staff focus on and are organised according to the organisation’s competencies.

The organisation currently employs 10 staff members, 6 of whom have professional or post-graduate qualifications. 7 staff members are from historically disadvantaged communities. The organisation strives to achieve racial and gender representation both in terms of overall staff composition and leadership opportunity.


Nontando Zintle Ngamlana is Executive Director at Afesis-corplan, having risen from within the organisation’s ranks. She is a seasoned development practitioner, a strategist and a social justice activist at heart. She holds an MBA from the Netherlands, a MDev, B.Sc Hon and a B.Sc in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, all from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

She has worked in the public, academic and NGO sectors in the past and has extensive experience in the design and use of participatory research methodologies, an approach which still characterises her work. Her present interests are the attainment of Afesis-corplan’s strategic goals, its resilience and sustainability, as well as ensuring that it remains a partner of choice in efforts aimed at deepening participatory local democracy.

Esther Mason is the Finance and Administration Manager at Afesis-corplan. She holds an Honours BCompt and is a qualified chartered accountant with a CA (SA) qualification. Before joining Afesis-corplan in June 2009, Esther worked as an Audit Manager at Leonard Tebbutt Chartered Accountants.

In her position, Esther is responsible for ensuring that all organisational programmes adhere to achieving the overall objectives within their stipulated budgets. She provides financial advice, planning and operational support to the organisation in line with its strategic plans. She manages and controls audit processes and prepares financial reports. Esther also ensures effective implementation of key operational and administrative processes.

Sibulele Poswayo is Programmes Manager at Afesis-corplan. She is currently studying towards an MBA at the Nelson Mandela Metro University. Sibulele holds a post-graduate diploma in Development Studies from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the UCT. As Programmes Manager, her role is to oversee all programmes implemented at Afesis-corplan and contracts received through the consultancy arm of Afesis-corplan. Her area of interest is promoting gender mainstreaming and gender equality in all the local governance and land work conducted by Afesis-corplan.
Ronald Eglin is the Sustainable Settlement Specialist at Afesis-corplan. Before joining the organisation, Ronald studied City and Regional Planning at the University of Cape Town. Ronald joined Afesis-corplan in the early 1990s as a Project Worker in the Projects Department. His present work predominantly focuses on land access and sustainable settlement work. Ronald has a keen interest in development planning, community development, environmentally sustainable development and participatory planning. Some of his more recent interests include the People’s Housing Process (PHP), co-operative housing, incremental settlement development, land access, and urban and rural land tenure and land use management.

Ronald enjoys the challenge of learning about and trying out new approaches to development that encourage community control of the development process. His vision for land and housing in South Africa is one where everyone has access to land and basic services as a first step towards incrementally improving their housing situation.

Vanessa Ramoo is the Office Administrator at Afesis-corplan. She worked for the organisation for 11 years from 1987 to 1998, before taking on various other positions in the field of finance and administration in the private sector. In August 2007, she re-joined Afesis-corplan. Vanessa provides administrative and secretarial support to the programme staff and management. Her responsibilities also include human resource administration, asset management, procurement, logistics and travel arrangements.

Vanessa’s strong work ethic coupled with 23 years of experience makes her an asset to the effective functioning of the organisation.

Lihle Skosana joined Afesis-corplan in May 2011 as the Office Administrator. She holds a BCom Accounting degree with the University of Fort Hare. Part of Lihle’s responsibilities at Afesis-corplan include finance, payroll, administration, reception/switchboard operation as well as providing support to staff.
Masixole Kente is currently doing his Masters Degree in Development Studies with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and holds a (BA) Development Studies Degree majoring in Development and Economics. His area of interest include participatory democracy, sustainable development, local governance and leadership. Masixole has been involved in a number of community-based development initiatives and leadership programmes with non-profit organisations. He is part of the research team with the Centre for the Advancement of Non-racialism and Democracy (CANRAD) NMMU.
Leigh holds the position of Programme Officer for Marketing at Afesis-corplan. She has a National Diploma in Graphic Design obtained at Port Elizabeth Technikon. She also has certificates in Corporate Communication, Marketing and Public Relations from Damelin Port Elizabeth. Leigh has five years’ experience in the field of design and graphic design, as well as two years working in sales: both internal and external. With her passion for people, communication and all things creative, Leigh is an asset to the Knowledge Management Unit.
Lindokuhle “Penny” Vellem recently rejoined the Afesis-corplan team as a Programme Officer. She holds an Honours Degree in Development Studies from the University of Fort Hare and BSocSc from the University of KwaZulu-Natal majoring in Sociology and Rural Resource Management. She has a keen interest in the development of rural spaces and the preservation of cultural identities. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree with NMMU, in African Languages (isiXhosa) looking at the Sociolinguistic makeup of the African farmer and land reform in South Africa.
Thembakazi Funani is a Programme Officer at Afesis-corplan. She holds a certificate in Community Development attained at Asante Development Agency and a Financial Management Certificate attained at Buffalo City Public FET College.
Thembakazi is passionate about rural/community development and participation. She strongly believes that community participation and rural development will improve in the Eastern Cape with appropriate social development interventions.

Board of Directors

Registered as a not-for-profit Section 21 company, Afesis-corplan operates under the governance of a Board of Directors comprised of prominent members of the public and private sectors.

Themba Lupuwana is the Executive Director and Pastor at Rachael’s Children Ministries. He served as the Chief Executive Officer at the Boarder Cricket NPC and is also a member of the Audit Committee at the University of Fort Hare (2010 – present). He is also a Trustee at Makhaya Ntini Cricket Academy Trust. Themba holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Zululand, a certificate in project management from Cranefield College of Project Management, and completed a Management Advancement Programme at Wits Business School. Themba has a passion for social transformation and justice and is fascinated by the idea that we are all change agents with an indelible potential to alter our environment for good, one person at a time. He serves on the Afesis-corplan Board as the Chairperson.
Lisa Hirschbeck is a chartered accountant and holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Heriot Watt University. Lisa is a senior lecturer at the University of Fort Hare, where she lectures on Taxation, Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Diploma of Accounting. Before working at the university, Lisa was an audit manager for a number of years at KPMG both in South Africa and Russia. Lisa serves on the Audit and Finance subcommittee of the board.
Fred Hendricks obtained his PhD in Sociology from Uppsala University, Sweden, and is currently the Dean of Humanities at Rhodes University. His research interests include land and agrarian questions as well pensions and development. Fred serves the Afesis-corplan board on the Nomination Committee.
Nozuko Yokwana previously served at the National Research Foundation (NRF), National Arts Council as an Advisory Craft Panellist and on the National Health Laboratories of South Africa (NHLS). Nozuko has won various scholarships and awards including the Nelson Mandela Scholarship and the Ford Foundation Award. She also won the Community Builder of the Year Award awarded by the Sowetan in 2008.

Nozuko served in government at Bisho as a COO for the Department of Social Development and in Cape Town Parliament as a health policy advisor and researcher. She gained extensive experience as a consultant in community development, rural and agrarian reforms, land reform and settlements. She also ventured into mining and construction.

Nozuko is one of the first black women who managed to start her own construction and mining company, post democracy. Currently she is serving as head of Eastern Cape Planning Commission and has been instrumental in drafting Vision 2030 Plan – a long-term plan for the Eastern Cape government. She is also Chairperson for the Nelson Mandela Museum, a Board Member and an HR subcommittee member at Afesis-corplan, as well as a Council Member for Chief Albert Luthuli Museum serving on various sub committees (Research and Marketing, Audit and Risk, Remco and Finance).

Nozuko is finalising her PhD studies and is an experienced and qualified professional nurse and midwife. She is passionate about rural livelihoods, peace-building, women and youth empowerment, spatial justice in terms of integrated settlements and development in rural areas.